Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Decorations 2008

Okay, so these pretty much look the same as last year...but I LOVE decorating for Christmas :) and I thought I would share that excitement with you all :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

And the results are...

For those of you have been on pins and needles, wanting to know what in the world is going on with my calf muscle, your wait is over. Blah.

I had an MRI done on my leg the other day and it revealed that what they thought was a torn muscle was probably just some massive spasming due to a stress fracture in my tibia, which is why my leg was still hurting so much. Yeah.

So, at least 3 more weeks until I can even think of starting to run again. And a few more PT session to help speed along the process as much as possible.

I am still hoping to do the half-marathon in January. I may not be able to run the whole thing, but I will be able to finish and that is now my goal.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Up, up, and away!

Last night at 6:55pm CDT, the Space Shuttle Endeavour launched! I'm the lead for this flight for my group and its so exciting to see it finally lifting off after months of hard work. The next couple of weeks are going to be long AND fun. If you want mission updates from me, shoot me an email and I will add you to my distribution list.


My team

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Random "Tis the season"

Okay so one random good thing about everyone pulling Christmas stuff so early? Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes. I LOVE these things...they're best for breakfast ;-).

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

At the request of my friend Stephanie, here is my pumpkin cheesecake recipe. My alterations follow the list of ingredients:

2 packages cream cheese
3/4 c sugar
1 can pumpkin
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4tsp salt
2 eggs

I add an extra 1/2c of sugar and I reduce the pumpkin to one cup...this gives it more of a cheesecake flavor than a pumpkin pie flavor (as I am not a fan of pumpkin pie :) )


2c sour cream (really is more like 1 1/2c)
Sugar to taste
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon to taste

I use ready-made graham cracker crusts

Beat creamcheese and sugar. Beat in pumpkin, spices, salt. Add and beat eggs one at a time.

This makes a lot of batter, so get the extra large pie crust.

Bake at 350 for ~50 minutes. Remove and spread topping evenly (you'll probably have extra). Bake for another 5 minutes. Chill overnight.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Go Team MUDD-E

This weekend, Nujoud, Lisa, Erin, Alicia and I traveled to Ft. Worth, TX to compete in the Ft. Worth 10K Mud Run. After the race, I headed up to Lake Ray Roberts to meet up with some friends of mine from Grace Church (in Frisco). I stayed with Lauren and Tony (thanks guys) and got to attend Grace Church this morning and see some friends I haven't seen since Fusion and/or New Attitude. Then it was a looong 5 hour car ride back (broken up by a stop at the outlet malls :) ). All in all, a very good weekend!

We left early from work on Friday- and it was a good thing too...we hit a lot of traffic and I had to stop for an ice cream break as well :). We came up with call signs for each of us- Mudhoney and Mudcakes were the call signs for each vehicle and for Nujoud and I (since we were the drivers), Erin and Lisa were Shotgun and Birddog, being in the navigator positions, and Alicia was the Puppet Master. During said traffic, she entertained Lisa and I from the backseat of Nujoud's car with hand puppet shows. Gotta love walkie-talkies :)

Obviously, with my injured leg, I wasn't going to be able to compete, so I became Team MUDD-E's official photographer and cheerleader. This race looks like SOOOO much fun. There's another race in April which we all plan to do (with me running this time). Here are some of the pics- I'll post a whole album once the girls have a chance to approve all the pictures :). Didn't Nujoud do a great job on the shirts? We got so many compliments on them and were even stopped to have our picture taken!

Team MUDD-E (Me, Erin, Lisa, Nujoud, and Alicia- whose eyes are closed in all of the team shots :) )

Braiding Erin's hair...

Hehe, the girls...I was laughing so hard I had a hard time keeping the camera still.

Waiting their turns for the Stairway to Heaven obstacle

And girls rock!!!!

Another ADCO/Russian party

We just love getting together when our Russian colleagues are in town. For this party, Molly and I had a surprise: we played a duet for everyone. Our Russian colleagues are very musical and are always playing guitar and/or singing for us, so we decided to show them what the Americans can do! I think it went very well for us only having practiced one time together!

Our concert

Relieved to be done!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Work party

So our Russian counterparts are in town for a meeting- which means a perfect excuse for a party/get together. Here are some pics from Saturday's shindig:

Looking at pictures of Andrey's vacation

me and the hostess, Erin

Jeff was NOT happy with the outcome of the UT/Texas Tech game...

Moose and Andrey

Us cracking up at Kevin doing magic tricks with Luke

Vladimir, Olga, Sergey, Inna, and Andrey

More pics on Todd's blog

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Houston Quilt Show

Today a friend of mine from work, Moose, and I went to the Houston Quilt Show. It was a-MAZING! Here are some of some of the pictures I took. Some quilts you weren't allowed to take pictures of: like the one with a space station on it and the ones where someone recreated a Hubble nebula picture using tiny pieces of fabric- incredible!

Tumbling blocks quilt- currently one of my favorite patterns- I love the 3D aspect

What aero engineer wouldn't like this one?

This one made me and Moose giggle- I think it looks like the big bear is strangling the little bear. But of course, in all fairness, I could never do something like this...the bears are pieced from small pieces of fabric and the detail was amazing!

Um, red and orange, could there be anything better?

I really like the border on this one. It's using a technique called applique which I haven't learned to do yet.

Ovarian cancer quilt

I like the swirling lines in this one

Amazing butterflies

Calf status...blah...

So my silly calf muscle is not healing very fast. The doc was surprised today to find that it is still feeling about the same. After 3 PT sessions, they usually see a marked improvement. Ye old calf is just about the same- ouchy.

So, that means no Mud Run participation for me next weekend :(...I will, however, still be traveling to Ft.Worth with the gals and will cheer them on loud and obnoxiously in full MUDD-E (our team name) regalia! Thankfully, the girls are still allowed to race without me, although they won't be eligible for prizes (not that we were aiming for any ;-) ).

As for the calf, I've got 3 more PT sessions this coming week. The doc said if there isn't any improvement after two of them, I will need to get an MRI done to make sure the tear isn't deeper than they think (although I don't think I would be walking so well if it was deeper) just seems my body heals slowly- not sure if that's a side effect of the meds or not...oh well. I was told I can swim and even do stationary bike (its the impact of running they are concerned about making the tear worse)- so I plan to start that up next week to at least stay in shape until I can start training again.